Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Award

I got a comment from GunDiva over at Tales From The Trail (among her many other blogging world presences) that she'd bestowed upon me the Leibster Blog award. 
I do believe that this is actually the second time she has given me this award, but it’s entirely possible that I didn’t get around to accepting the first one since it's not in my sidebar. Regardless, I appreciate the recognition and will dutifully play along.
As with all blog awards, there are rules:

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:

1.      Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.

2.      List 11 random facts about yourself.

3.      Answer the 11 questions given to you.

4.      Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.

5.      Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.

6.      Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them. 

Okay, let’s run these down now.

1. Thank you, GunDiva.

2. 11 Random Facts About Me 

    ·         I have a pilot’s license, but I am not “current”.

    ·         I drive a 2000 Nissan Maxima with 336,000 miles on it because I hate car payments and I am now genuinely intrigued to see how long it will last before dying completely.

    ·         I don’t like politicians.

    ·         I learned to fly at the same time I learned to drive.

    ·         I drink milk when I eat spaghetti or chili. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea.

    ·         I was an art major at one time.

    ·         Between high school and college, I had six years of German language classes.

    ·         I have never been to Germany.

    ·         Macaroni and cheese is my favorite comfort food.

    ·         I hate running and weightlifting.

    ·         I am not a country music fan, but my cowboy boots are the most comfortable footwear I own.

3. 11 Questions from GunDiva

    1.      What is your passion? Setting aside God, wife, and daughter, it’d have to be guns.

    2.      If you could do anything you wanted for the rest of your life, without having to think about money, what would it be? Travel the world and help people along the way.

   3.      What is your guilty pleasure? Reading a book in a quiet place with no distractions.

   4.      Favorite book ever? Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

   5.      Favorite movie ever? The Godfather

   6.      Have you ever met anyone famous? That all depends on your definition of famous. I got to interview Brad Davis from the Dallas Mavericks when I was in middle school for a class project. I have met a few other pro sports players after their playing days were over and they had moved on to other careers. Other than that, I wouldn’t say that I’ve met anyone impressively famous. There have been several people that I have met and/or known who were important for one reason or another. I once knew a man who survived the Bataan Death March in WWII who has since passed away. I met a Holocaust survivor once.

   7.      Who would you like to meet (living or dead, real or fictional) and why? That’s a pretty long list. At the top would have to be Jesus Christ followed by Leonardo DaVinci, Nicola Tesla, Kelly Johnson (longtime head of aircraft design at Lockheed) and Benjamin Franklin. Why? Because I want to pick their brains and learn from them.

    8.      Biggest pet peeve? Being interrupted.

    9.      If you won the PowerBall or Lotto and wanted to donate a chunk to a charity, which charity would it be and why? Aside from my church for the obvious reasons, I would donate to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. They provide free medical care to children with orthopedic conditions on a referral basis regardless of the family’s ability to pay. They are funded 100% by donations, and they are the real deal.

    10.  Favorite place you've visited? It’s a toss up between Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe and Holden Village in Washington state.

    11.  Where to you want to visit that you haven't been able to? Washington, D.C. Specifically, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

4. 11 Questions for the blogs I nominate:

·         Who is your favorite author and why?

·         What is your favorite adult beverage?

·         Which Biblical verse (or other spiritual text quote) is the most meaningful to you and why?

·         What’s the coolest, bestest, most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

·         What is your favorite weapon and why?

·         What is your favorite sport in which to participate (watching it on TV from the sofa does not count)?

·         At what event (past, present, real or fictional) would you want to be present and why?

·         What is the weirdest food combination that you like at which others raise an eyebrow?

·         What is your biggest hypocrisy or double standard?

·         What was your first car and would you own it again?

·         Which unfulfilled dream of yours do you most want to achieve in your lifetime and why?

5. 11 Blogs I want to nominate:

·         Kymber at *Framboise Manor*

·         The Redneck Engineer

·         Heroditus Huxley at The Anti-Soma

·         Senior at Senior’s Mess

·         Odysseus at By Other Means

·         Bob S. at 3 Boxes of BS

·         Keads at Another Day…

·         Captain Tightpants at I Aim To Misbehave




The last three positions are unfilled as most everyone else I know either already has the award or has more than 200 followers. If you don't see your name above and you have less than 200 followers, consider yourself nominated.

6. Notify the recipients. I’m not going to everyone’s page to let them know ‘cause I’m lazy like that. Most of them read here anyway. Consider yourselves notified.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

While I am Thinking About It...

...some of you may be wondering why there have been no posts gloating about how wonderful the beaches in Florida are. That would be because we never made it to Florida. Castle Erickson was afflicted with a viral infection in the days before our scheduled departure, and our recovery was not soon enough to take advantage of our planned vacation.

Boo. Hiss.

On This Episode of Cops...

..., do stupid things and win stupid prizes.

So, yesterday, I was on my way home from work minding my own business cruising along I-20 westbound between I-45 and I-35 in south Dallas. I was in the second lane from the right with the cruise control set at the speed limit plus or minus a skosh. Traffic was surprisingly light for the middle of rush hour with the nearest vehicle being a pickup in the far right lane about five car lengths back. Then, I heard the telltale sound of a crotch rocket in high revs. I was expecting him to come up on my left as those lanes were clear; however, he blows by at about 80 miles an hour on the right shoulder.

I thought to myself, "Self, that's odd."

I couldn't tell what make or model bike it was. It was all white with at least a 750cc engine (at a minimum based on the size and sound). The brain child in the saddle was wearing white shorts, dark athletic shoes, a t-shirt, backpack and matte black full face shield helmet with the goofy Mohawk ridge along the top.

The reason these details caught my attention was that the rider had gotten off the throttle as he passed me and was looking back over his shoulder in my direction making me think he was giving me the stink eye for some reason. I was contemplating what I might have done to offend him when things began to become clearer.

As we passed a highway on ramp, a Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy cruiser came charging onto the highway with lights flashing making a beeline for Mr. Motorcycle.

My first reaction was, "Awesome!! Nail his butt." Because, really, how many times has some idiot on a crotch rocket blown passed you at warp nine when there was no popo anywhere to be seen?

Then, the second DCSO cruiser flew passed on my left lights a blazin'. That was the moment that you just KNEW it was on like Donkey Kong. Just after I saw the second cruiser, I looked back to the scene ahead just in time to see Mr. Organ Donor depart from the I-35E southbound exit ramp for the supposedly greener pastures of the grassy median between shoulder and frontage road.

Big mistake. HUGE!.

The first cruiser was hot on Mr. Mensa's tail like white on rice. That's when the dust really started flying. I didn't have a clear view, but I am pretty sure that Mr. Offroad on Slick Tires gave the crotch rocket a little too much go juice resulting, predictably, in the travels of bike and rider becoming separated in what hopefully an epic Wile E. Coyote moment. I say this because there was some tumbling visible through the cloud of dirt and grass flying in the air, and when I finally passed by a few seconds later the bike was in several more pieces than one would expect for a gentle laying down amongst the hillside meadow.

Anyfelon, by this time Mr. Carl Lewis Wannabe was trying to beat the Olympic sprint record in all events at the same time while Deputy #1 had already bailed out of his cruiser and was closing ground fast like there was donuts and bacon in the rabbit's backpack.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see the end of the foot race as I was still driving along my merry way and my view was soon blocked by the traffic on the exit ramp, the ramp itself and the whole scene disappearing in the rear view. My money is on the deputy.

Total elapsed time from "what was that?" to out of sight, out of mind was less than a minute...maybe 30 seconds.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Been a Strange Week... that I am glad is over. 

I already posted over at The Toy Box about my tire buying experience. That story did not include my adventures in auto repair relating to the broken wheel lug studs. To accomplish that repair, you have to take the wheel, brake caliper, caliper mounting bracket and rotor off so that you can wrench the new lug studs in from back side of the hub. 

Reassembly went smoothly, and the test drive should have been uneventful...unless someone forgets to completely retract the caliper piston thus turning the test drive into an adventure in smoking brake pads and glowing rotors. Fortunately, I did not slag the pads or the rotor and corrected my mistake with only minor embarrassment (I had done this once before several years ago and knew to be suspicious of my work in this area). 

That was Monday and Tuesday evening's fun (I didn't have time to correct my mistake Monday, it carried over to Tuesday).

Monday while at work, The Queen and M&M came to have lunch with me. Yay!! As they were driving in, The Queen calls with news from M&M's blood cousin (male bio donor's cousin...the one we are on good terms with). Apparently, the bio donors had posted on their Facebook pages that M&M was in the hospital in critical condition with a heart murmur. They were urgently seeking prayers and wishing to be together soon. 


Now, this comes as a puzzler to me as a) the bio donors have not so much as said boo about M&M since they left the great state of Texas almost a year ago, b) we have no contact with them [though we do lurk their Facebook pages for intel and amusement], c) the blood cousin would not say any such thing to them, and d) after 20 months they finally decide to give a flip about M&M's welfare?? The's not adding up. 

Blood cousin (I really need to think up a better handle for her), indicated she thought it was a set up for a scam for them to beg money from unsuspecting friends and family. My thought was that someone asked where "that cute little baby" was and they had to think of a way to explain why they didn't have her (which would necessarily have lead to a follow up post where they were the grieving parents who tragically lost their child). 

Either way, we notified our agency case worker (who has become a friend of the family) of the situation and reassured the blood cousin that M&M was alive and well. 

These photos were taken when she was supposedly in the hospital. Yep...critical condition alright. Terminal cuteness. 

Mysteriously, the bio donors' Facebook pages sprouted posts a few hours later retracting their previous pleas and blaming female bio donor's mom for spreading lies in order to hurt them. That in its self is utter horse turd soup based on the conversations that blood cousin had with male bio donor (which she kindly passed along to us).

There are days I can't believe M&M came from them. Most days, I just try to forget they exist. 

Last but not was my first day to wear contact lens. To sum up my impressions in one word...."ookie". That's going to take some getting used to.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Well, after looking at just about every condo rental in the state of Florida, we have finally booked a place in St. Augustine. It had several things going for it not the least of which is that it was available and didn't cost an arm and a leg. We will be arriving late Sunday, July 14 and leaving Friday, July 19 in the morning. If you happen to be in the area and want a visit from some crazy Texans, drop me a line.